Using images in your blog posts, on social media and in other channels helps you connect faster and on a deeper level with your audiences. In fact, social posts with images get 650x more engagement than those without.
I hardly bother writing text-only tweets anymore and always try to include colorful, eye-catching, attention riveting images in my social posts and presentations, like this one:
Whether you’re using free photo editing software or willing to spring for a paid tool, you don’t have to be a designer to make your own memes and data illustrations or edit photos into beautiful images for sharing.
Check out my collection of personal favorites – the best sites and tools you can use to quickly and easily edit photos:
Gifs had earned a bad name in years past, but people are learning how to use them creatively, with an emphasis on being clever and not annoying. You can use a tool like ezGIF to create, resize, crop, reverse, optimize, and apply some effects to gifs.
Pixlr offers tools for the web, mobile, and desktop and enables users to perform a variety of image editing functions, whether using the Editor or pared down Express version.
If you aren’t comfortable working in layers and performing more in-depth edits, the Express version works just fine for adjusting color, cropping, and making other basic edits.
Canva is THE drag and drop design tool to use, if you need one.
Sure, you can edit photos, but you can also create amazing images of any size, for both online and print material. If you’re looking for a more powerful editor that allows for advanced editing, adding in various other elements and protecting image integrity for print, you’re going to want to check out Canva.
PicMonkey lets you apply different focal and light effects to uploaded images, and offers the basic editing options you’d expect from any image editor. But it also has tools like Wrinkle Remover, Teeth Whitener and Airbrush that make it a good choice for close up online photo editing. You can use it to make collages, too.
Acorn is a paid Mac tool and has been around since 2007, but a recent update to Acorn 5 improved its speed, improved the UI and more.
Like a lot of the tools mentioned here, iPiccy is browser-based, so you don’t have to download it to your computer to use it. I like this one because it’s easy to use and combines the photo editing and text adding features of other tools.
BeFunky is a great choice if you need crazy effects to help you stand out from the crowd. It’ll let you apply fun effects like Cartoonize, or to edit photos look like an oil painting or pop art.
This is one of the more powerful free photo editing software options out there, with features like retouching and the ability to change hair color, doodle over top of images, add different elements, and more. It’s also available in over a dozen different languages, making it a decent choice for international users.
Lunapic has some creative image and online photo editing features and over 200 different effects, like Paste & Blend, or Reflecting Animation.
Aviary is one of the top rated photo editing apps in the Google Play store. 1.4 million users can’t be wrong. It has a ton of features and the company lets select community members beta test new features as they’re in development.
11. Picasa/Google Photos
Once a standalone product, Picasa is now part of the Google family… but it’s being retired.
All’s not lost though, as Google just announced recently that they’re going to shelf Picasa and focus on making Google Photos a better experience for users. If you’ve been using Picasa, you’re going to want to read about the transition here.
Adobe shocked users by making Photoshop available only within the Creative Cloud subscription service, but it’s still hands-down the best image editing tool on the planet.
DxO Optics Pro instantly corrects defects in your images caused by your digital camera equipment. It’s a great option for cleaning up your images before you add text or otherwise edit them with another tool, as it can remove digital noise, recover lost texture, and bright out the colors in your photos.
A version of this post was first published in Inc.